FSWC Files Access to Information Request After York U Student Union Rejects Application to Create Pro-Israel Club

October 30, 2019

Media Statement

Toronto (October 30, 2019) - Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) has filed a formal request to compel York University to turn over documents related to the student union’s rejection of a student-run pro-Israel club.

Earlier this fall, a York undergraduate student submitted an application to the York Federation of Students to create a Zionist club, but this application was rejected with no reasons given. FSWC has made numerous requests to university officials asking why the club was denied status, but has received no explanation. In the meantime, an application for an anti-Israel club was accepted, ratified and funded by the student union, and the group is now falsely accusing Israel of apartheid and other crimes in its events across the campus.

FSWC has filed an official Access to Information request under Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, demanding documents and information that could shine a light on the motivations behind the rejection of the pro-Israel club. By law, the university is required to respond to this request within 30 days.

“If there is a legitimate reason that the Zionist club at York University was denied status while the anti-Israel club was not, we would expect the university to come forward in a transparent way and provide that reason,” said Avi Benlolo, president and CEO of FSWC. “Jewish students have every right to advocate for their beliefs on our campuses and we are very concerned by any efforts that appear to curtail that right.”

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